Every parent wants the best for their kids, and the best should include a strong dental care plan. Simply stating the importance of oral hygiene is not enough. Parents need to have a plan in place and purposely work on creating healthy dental care habits. Intentions die a quick death when lives get hectic. It becomes easy to overlook a child’s oral hygiene until a problem arises. Today we will look at five tips to help establish healthy dental care habits in your children’s lives.
1. Start the day with breakfast
A healthy nutritious breakfast helps kids do well throughout the day. By packing in the protein early, cravings for sweets are reduced throughout the day. It is important to teach children how foods affect their bodies and which ones are empty calories versus those that fuel them.
Have conversations about the food they are eating. Point out how a healthy breakfast provides them with the energy they need throughout the day, whereas an easily grabbed sugary pastry will leave them hungry an hour later. Help them notice the differences in how they feel after eating different foods.
2. Teach them how to brush and floss
After breakfast and before bed, make a point to ask children if they have taken care of their teeth. Children should brush a minimum of twice a day with a soft bristle brush and floss in the evenings. Without constant reminders, they are likely to forget. Make it a habit early on.
Kids love to rush through brushing so they can get back to playing. It should take a full two minutes for them to brush their teeth. Use a fun timer or sing a song as they brush.
Help make brushing a habit. Get them involved in the process by letting them help pick out the toothbrush and toothpaste. Establish a schedule. Put up a chart, and let them put a sticker beside their name every time they brush and another when they floss.
3. Limit sugary foods and sodas
Sugary foods and sodas stick to the teeth. Children who are just learning proper oral hygiene may not be able to remove the sticky substance properly. Replace candies with fruits. Substitute juice and soda with water. It will make cleaning teeth that much easier for them.
4. Take them to the dentist regularly
Every six months, children should see a dentist for cleanings and checkups. The more the child goes to the dentist, the more comfortable they will become. This is good for their oral care and will help prevent the anxiety that is common when visiting the dentist.
5. Practice what you preach
Children learn by example. Do not just tell kids to brush and floss, show them that you do it too. Brush your teeth together, making it a morning and evening ritual. Eat healthy food and limit the sugar. Visit the dentist regularly.
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